23 November 2015 07:05:22 IST

4G drives smartphone growth in Sept quarter

Samsung retains top vendor spot, Lava slips

Shipments of smartphones in the third quarter of 2015 grew by over 21 per cent mainly on the back of rising demand for affordable 4G devices.

According to the International Data Corporation's (IDC) Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 28.3 million smartphones were shipped to India in the third quarter of 2015, against 23.3 million units for the same period last year.

In the period under review, 4G enabled devices witnessed a near three-fold increase in unit shipments over Q2 2015. Samsung emerged as the biggest 4G player in India with its sub-$150 LTE models such as Galaxy Grand Prime and Galaxy J2.

“The growth in the smartphone market was helped by rising demand for affordable 4G smartphones,” Karthik J, Senior Market Analyst, client devices for IDC, said in a statement.

E-tailers such as Flipkart, Snapdeal, and Amazon continue to drive shipments of the Chinese vendors, who have been aggressively trying to capture the 4G smartphone market in India,” he added.

The closing weeks of the quarter witnessed incremental supplies as many vendors were preparing their channels in lieu of the festive season and online mega sale programmes.

In addition, growth was also driven by low-cost phones with larger screens.

“Almost one out of every two smartphones sold has 5”-plus displays,” says Jaipal Singh, Market Analyst, Client Devices. Most of the popular models in the market today support 4G and have a large screen, and are attractively priced at less than $200. This highlights the shift in consumer preference from a device mostly used for voice calling to an advanced multimedia experience.”

Smartphone vendor highlights

Samsung continues to lead the Indian smartphone market with 13.1 per cent sequential growth (quarter-on-quarter) in Q3 2015 over Q2 2015, and also overtook Lenovo as the top 4G vendor. The volume growth was primarily contributed by LTE-based smartphones such as Galaxy Grand Prime 4G, Galaxy J and Galaxy A series, which mostly moved through the retail channels, although Samsung also had some e-tailer focused phones such as Galaxy J5 and Galaxy J7.

Micromax retained the second position with a 6.4 per cent sequential growth (quarter-on-quarter). YU Phones have been performing well and are leading contributors to Micromax’s 4G portfolio. However, YU faces strong competition from Chinese players in the online segment.

Intex has secured the third position in Q3 2015 with 9.4 per cent growth. The vendor has witnessed a sharp rise in shipments in the sub-$50 segment and also in entry-level 3G-enabled devices.

Lenovo, as a group (Lenovo & Motorola), moved up to the fourth place in Q3 2015 owing to strong 58.6 per cent quarter-on-quarter growth. The Lenovo group captured 9.5 per cent of the smartphone market driven mainly by the K3 note, A6000 plus, and Moto G 3rd Gen. The group also started local manufacturing of its smartphones in India to further strengthen their position in the Indian market.

Lava slipped to fifth place with a sequential drop of 2 per cent in their vendor share over Q2 2015. Lava shipments dropped 24.9 per cent quarter-on-quarter, coming off from a healthy Q2 2015. While its Xolo series continues to slide, Lava has not moved fast enough to capitalise on the fast-growing 4G market or diversified their channel strategy in favour of online channels.